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15 January 2016 VOLUME 17 ISSUE 2

Media Coverage

  • Traditional practices in Malawi that had disappeared...are gradually resurfacing, much to the alarm of those working on the national HIV response. ‘Fish for sex’ is transactional sex in which girls and women offer sex services to fishermen in exchange for fish. Another traditional practice, ‘kupimbira’ , allows a poor family to receive a loan or livestock in exchange for daughters of any age....The harmful cultural practices largely affect young people.

    January 14, 2016
    Key Correspondents
  • Thousands of Uganda women will benefit from a sh53b which government has earmarked to be allocated to poor women to start income generating activities....On the eligible beneficiaries, the assistant commissioner for gender Maggie Kyomukama said unemployed women, child mothers, single mothers, widows, women with disabilities, women living with HIV/AIDS, slum dwellers, and women heading households will be given priority.

    January 14, 2016
    New Vision
  • Giving daily HIV drugs to healthy gay men has huge potential to help reverse the epidemic, say scientists. The medication prevents new infections by killing the virus before it has a chance to take hold in the body. Calculations, published in The Lancet, indicate giving the drugs to the most at-risk men could cut new infections by more than 40% in the UK. Experts said the approach was of “huge benefit” to at-risk men and should be adopted.

    January 14, 2016
    BBC News
  • Scientists have uncovered part of a protein found in humans and other primates that can help us fight off HIV. In a new study published in the journal Heliyon, researchers discover how this structure can stop HIV from working and switch on our immune system at the same time. The findings, say the authors of the study, could potentially be used in developing anti-HIV gene therapy in the future.

    January 14, 2016
    Medical Express
  • The AIDS Healthcare Foundation is seeking to absorb its pharmacy on 18th Street into its clinic on Castro Street. However, surrounding neighbors and members of the business district are opposing the move....Dale Gluth, the foundation’s Bay Area regional director...[said] the opposition actually stems from a disagreement on policy issues related to the HIV/AIDS community, rather than the foundation’s physical impact on the neighborhood.

    January 14, 2016
    San Francisco Chronicle
  • A report originally presented to the 2015 BHIVA conference last year details two cases where therapeutic levels of solo tenofovir unequivocally failed to prevent HIV infection in gay men. In one case, despite the tenofovir apparently suppressing the man’s HIV viral load in his blood plasma, it failed to prevent HIV infecting the cells of his immune system.

    January 14, 2016
    aidsmap
  • Men and women’s bodies are different. Why, then, would we expect them to respond to infectious diseases the same way?...This assumption has long existed, but data are now showing otherwise. Sabra Klein,...Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, is making it her mission to demonstrate in Sex and Gender Differences in Infection and Treatments for Infectious Diseases (Springer, 2015) that not only do sex differences exist, but need to be reflected in drug trials and treatments.

    January 13, 2016
    Women's Health.com
  • Investigators report in the online edition of the Journal of Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndromes that “In this cohort of HIV-infected women in rural Uganda who initiated ART during pregnancy, food insufficiency was highly prevalent,” comment the authors....This is the first study to show an association between food insecurity and poor viral suppression among pregnant and breastfeeding women, a period “when viral suppression has implications both for preserving maternal health and reducing the risk of perinatal transmission.”

    January 12, 2016
    aidsmap
  • This year, we can celebrate the successful impact that Zambia has made so far in responding to the HIV epidemic collectively. Yet these successes are merely not enough to achieve the global vision of ending AIDS as a public health threat by 2030 for Zambia....According to the National AIDS Council (NAC), 2015–2020 is a fragile window of opportunity in which a significant difference can be made.

    January 12, 2016
    Zambia Times
  • The Philippine legislature has undermined the fight against sexually transmitted disease by removing funding for contraception from its 2016 budget, UN agencies and rights groups say. The funding cut, which took place last week, will eliminate “vital support for lower-income Filipinos who rely on state-provided contraceptive services for protection from sexually transmitted infections, and for safe birth-spacing and family planning,” global advocacy group Human Rights Watch said in a statement.

    January 12, 2016
    Time
  • Joining a wave of companies racing in the HIV vaccines space, Aelix Therapeutics announced a $12.7 million Series A round this week--and funding from Johnson & Johnson Innovation--to support work on its therapeutic HIV vaccine candidate. Barcelona, Spain-based Aelix will use the money to further the development of its HTI immunogen candidate up to completion of a Phase II proof-of-concept study, [with] clinical trials expected Q3 2016.

    January 12, 2016
    Fierce Vaccines
  • "...Now right now, we are on track to end the scourge of HIV/AIDS, that's within our grasp, and we have the chance to accomplish the same thing with malaria, something I'll be pushing this Congress to fund this year. That's American strength. That's American leadership..."

    January 12, 2016
    NY Times
  • Moderna Therapeutics received an initial $20 million grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to develop a new affordable combination of messenger RNA–based antibody therapeutics geared toward preventing HIV infection. The grant is intended for the combination's preclinical study and Phase I clinical trial. Gates Foundation’s $20 million funding could potentially grow into a total $100 million commitment....toward development of additional mRNA-based treatments for various infectious diseases.

    January 12, 2016
    GEN News
  • A programme in Los Angeles County successfully re-engaged and retained patients who dropped out of HIV care, investigators report in the online edition of the Journal of Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndromes. Called the Navigation Program, it was a collaboration between health department staff and community organisations.

    January 11, 2016
    aidsmap
  • Parental permission for adolescent participation in research on HIV pre-exposure prophylaxis and other sexually transmitted infections is not required ethically and may undermine public health interests, according to a new paper by law and public health experts at Rice University's Baker Institute for Public Policy and Baylor College of Medicine.

    January 11, 2016
    Science Daily
  • Proportionate CVD mortality more than doubled among HIV-infected adults in the United States between 1999 and 2013, according to study findings published in The American Journal of Cardiology.

    January 11, 2016
    Healio
  • A medical breakthrough in Spain could provide hope for actor Charlie Sheen who admitted recently that he has HIV. Until the discovery that blood transplants from umbilical cords could cure the virus, the closest medication available was a pill, Truvada, which prevents people from acquiring the virus. However, the blood transplants from umbilical cords must come from one with genetic resistance to HIV. That is what doctors in Barcelona did to a 37-year-old man from the same Spanish city who was cured of HIV.

    January 10, 2016
    International Business Times
  • The recent approval by the Kenya Pharmacy and Poisons Board of the drug Truvada for prevention of HIV by uninfected persons deemed at risk — Pre-exposure Prophylaxis (PrEP) — reflects commitment from the regulatory authority to fast-track the review of drugs of public health importance....Why is the approval of Truvada for prevention so significant for Kenya? The country has the world’s fourth largest HIV numbers with an estimated 1.63 million people living with HIV, 98,000 new infections occurring annually, and 1.1 million children orphaned due to Aids-related deaths.

    January 9, 2016
    East African
  • A new study finds a significant racial disparity within a doubly troubled population of patients: those with HIV and Hodgkin lymphoma. In such cases, blacks are at significantly higher risk than whites of not receiving treatment for the cancer that in many cases would be effective....While the disparity is clear, said lead author Adam Olszewski, [Brown University and Memorial Hospital Cancer Center], the root cause is not. Several closely entangled epidemiological, socioeconomic, and medical factors are at play.

    January 8, 2016
    Science Daily
  • GSK, Pfizer and Shionogi venture ViiV Healthcare is linking with Janssen Sciences Ireland to develop and commercialise the first long-acting, two-drug injectable treatment regimen for HIV. The companies have confirmed plans for a Phase III trial of the therapy, which consists of ViiV’s cabotegravir and Janssen’s rilpivirine (branded Edurant), assessing its safety and efficacy in patients with HIV-1 infection.

    January 8, 2016
    Pharma Times
  • Even in the absence of an effective HIV vaccine,...we have the tools to end the HIV/AIDS epidemic in the United States and globally....It is often said that we were slow to recognize the seriousness of the emerging HIV pandemic during the early 1980s. At the time, our ability to fight its spread was meager. Today, we have the tools to end this modern-day plague. We must not squander the opportunity. History will judge us harshly if we do.

    January 8, 2016
    Washington Post
  • Phylogenetic analysis of the source of HIV infections in Dutch gay men over more than a decade shows that 71% acquired HIV from a man who was himself not yet diagnosed and only 6% from a man who was taking treatment, Oliver Ratmann and colleagues report in this week’s issue of Science Translational Medicine.

    January 7, 2016
    aidsmap
  • The efficacy of male condom use in preventing herpes simplex virus-2 [HSV-2] transmission among HIV-1 and HSV-2-serodiscordant couples varied by gender, according to recent findings. “Condoms reduced the per-act risk of [HSV-2] transmission by 65% from women to men and by 96% from men to women,” Helen Rees, Wits Reproductive Health and HIV Institute, South Africa, and colleagues wrote. “The high estimated efficacy of male condoms in reducing HSV-2 transmission has important public health implications.

    January 2, 2016
    Healio

Published Research

Announcements

  • Be part of the world’s premier gathering where science, leadership and community meet for advancing all facets of collective efforts to treat and prevent HIV. Submit an abstract and share your research. Submit a workshop that will promote knowledge transfer, skills development and collaborative learning. Submit an activity for the Global Village and Youth Programme. Programme submissions are open until 4 February 2016.

    January 14, 2016